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Dutch Youth Health Care: From smoke free houses to smoke free parents

June 7, 2018

While YHC professionals often discuss with parents ways of preventing second hand smoke exposure to children (by smoking outside), they less often discuss ways parents could quit smoking altogether. This illustrates the ongoing shift in focus from preventing second hand smoke exposure to motivating parents to quit smoking, researchers at the Trimbos Institute conclude.

Researchers conducted a survey among 429 YHC professionals (nurses and pediatricians) and 61 managers of local YHC organizations. This study shows that 64% of all YHC professionals ask parents regularly about their smoking habits at home. If YHC professionals know that parents smoke, about 72% of them discuss preventing second hand smoke exposure regularly and 35% discuss smoking cessation regularly.

In addition, YHC professionals appear largely unaware of any existing policies in their local YHC organisations about discussing smoking with parents. They need more time for discussing smoking with parents and they also need more materials, education and knowledge about referring parents to specialized smoking cessation support.

The Youth Health Care is a municipal health care system in the Netherlands that provides free universal and selective preventive care services to young people aged 0-18. Up to recent years, YHC professionals motivated parents to smoke outside at home in order to limit their children’s exposure to second hand smoke. In recent years, several organizations urge YHC professionals to motivate parents to quit smoking altogether.

Summary of the report

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